Thieves stole two prized peacocks from a charity’s educational farm - just before a successful open day where they were to be among the star attractions.
The birds were going to be mascots for the Crack On Foundation’s Field of Dreams farm, in Thurston, and visitors at an open day on Sunday were to be given the chance to name them in a contest.
However, the white peahen and a green/ blue peacock were stolen after a pen was forced open between 7pm on Saturday and 6am on Sunday.
Organisers say the crime ‘soured’ a successful day, which raised £1,257 for the farm - recently set up as a training site and educational resource for disadvantaged young people and adults who will gain work experience by growing produce and looking after animals.
Mark Byford, chief executive of Crack On, said: “It’s sad that such a great achievement has been soured by low life.”
Despite the incident, the day attracted crowds who enjoyed a variety of activities including a colouring contest, the chance to meet a range of animals and a ploughing competition.
Such a great achievement has been soured by low lifeMark Byford
Mr Byford added: “The atmosphere was just brilliant. One of the farmers said it was like a mini Suffolk Show.”
Thanks to the event, the charity has reached its £15,000 fund-raising target to meet initial start-up costs for the farm. This included £10,000 in National Lottery funding.
They now aim to raise a further £15,000 to create a borehole to provide running water on the site, solar panels, more fencing, an orchard and conservation area.
Mr Byford said the farm is already making an impact on young people - giving an example of one boy who ran the front desk at the open day.
“It brought him out of his shell,” he said.
Colleges have lined up placements for students at the farm and there has been interest from other schools.
Meanwhile, local people have been offering their expertise to help out at the farm.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Mark-Byford1
Anyone with details about the peacocks should call Mid Suffolk South Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 quoting ST/15/3377 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.